Things are not always as they appear. In fact they are seldom as they appear. Those super toys we used to get by mailing box tops to the company turned out to be cheap and tinny. That was our first lesson. Then when Poor Richard warned us not to judge a book by it's cover, we were conditioned to believe him.
Recently we participated in Mobil's reward program. If we buy 100 gallons of gas within a couple months, they would reward us with $50. Since we had already planned to visit family in Tennessee, we signed up. Well we did buy the petrol. And we did get the reward, but it came in the form of plastic. We had anticipated a $50 gift card. But instead it was a club card that needed to be redeemed on line. Well when we went to the restaurant website, we only found obscure little dives, struggling for existence,desperately seeking new customers. So we picked a couple of the most promising establishments that were reasonably near us.
The first one we tried sounded like a charming Irish restaurant not far from our home. But it turned out to be a pub in a mini mall. Barbara was so skeptical of a positive outcome that she sent me to investigate while she stayed in the car. I meekly opened the door, only to find shuffleboard and pool tables with two toughs loitering there. But when I stepped in I could see the bar and some casual dining tables. I asked the proprietor if they were serving food, and he gave me a very friendly affirmative. So I retrieved my wife, and we enjoyed a tasty cuisine of shepherd's pie and a Reuben sandwich. We will definitely try this place again. But once again, things were not as they appeared at first.
The other place we tried as our reward had the word "bamboo" in the name. It was labeled a Hawaiian restaurant. But when we walked in, we found ourselves to be the only diners in this small place in the tenderloin section of Long Beach. The old man who tried to understand our questions was not Hawaiian, but Cambodian. What I understood to be his grandson had tuned their large screen HDTV to an episode of "Spongebob". Once again our situation was not what we had expected. We eventually ordered our food by numbers on the menu and hoped for the best. To our happy surprise it was excellent Chinese-ish fare. When the old guy's nephew returned we found him to be a well spoken and friendly proprietor.
The ultimate surprise in things not being as they appear is found in the biblical warning: "there is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death."